What are the pros and cons of living in or visiting your hometown?

Picture of the aptly named Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors.

The city of Detroit has also experienced something of a “renaissance” in recent years.

I’d like to write about the pros and cons of visiting my hometown Detroit, also known as the Motor City or Motown.

Although Detroit seems to have a bit of a negative image due to its lackluster portrayal in media and entertainment, the city has been enjoying a bit of a renaissance since its very public bankruptcy back in 2014. The city was able to clean up a lot of debt and corruption and make some very significant improvements that have helped to boost its recent image.

Let’s talk about some of the good points. I think one of the most significant ones is that it is a great city for sports lovers. Following the city’s bankruptcy in 2014, all four of the major sports teams in the region built brand new stadiums right in the city center which are literally walking distance from one another. You can watch the Detroit Lions play American football at Ford Field, then a five-minute walk from there is Comerica Park where the Detroit Tigers play baseball and then just about a ten-minute walk from there across the highway is the stadium where the Detroit Pistons play basketball and the Detroit Red Wings play ice hockey.

Another advantage to visiting Detroit is having the opportunity to try some of the local American food. One particular dish that visitors to Detroit must try is the Coney Island hot dog. This local favorite features a grilled hot dog topped with chili sauce, diced onions, and mustard, all served on a steamed bun. Several restaurants in downtown Detroit specialize in serving this classic dish, and it is really great if you happen to be in the Motor City during the harsh winter cold. In addition to Coney Island hot dogs, Detroit is also known for its delicious pizza. Detroit-style pizza is characterized by its thick, square-shaped crust, crispy edges, and generous toppings. One popular spot to sample Detroit-style pizza is Buddy's Pizza, which has been in business since 1946.

Let’s switch over to a negative. The major one that visitors to Detroit will notice right away is urban blight. Detroit used to be the 10th largest city in the US several decades ago, but with the downfall of the American auto industry there was a mass exodus from the city and its population has fallen by almost three times what it used to be. In the wake of that mass exodus, there was a large amount of urban blight, with many abandoned buildings and homes still standing today.

Therefore, to wrap up, visiting my hometown of Detroit, also known as the Motor City or Motown, offers a mix of pros and cons for travelers to consider. Despite its historical challenges and negative portrayal in the media, Detroit has experienced a renaissance in recent years, marked by significant improvements and a renewed sense of optimism.


aptly (adverb) – in a way that is suitable or appropriate in the circumstances
renaissance (noun) – a situation where there is new interest in a particular subject, form of art, etc. after a period when it was not very popular
lackluster (adjective) – not interesting or exciting; not bright
portrayal (noun) – the act of showing or describing somebody/something in a picture, play, book, etc.; a particular way in which this is done
blight (noun) – something that has a bad effect on a situation, a person’s life or the environment
exodus (noun) – the situation in which many people leave a place at the same time
in the wake of (idiom) – coming after or following somebody/something